WBEZ | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid http://www.wbez.org/tags/senate-majority-leader-harry-reid Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en As debt ceiling talks drag on, Illinois Sen. Kirk endorses austere deficit plan http://www.wbez.org/story/debt-ceiling-talks-drag-illinois-sen-kirk-endorses-austere-deficit-plan-88743 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/kirk.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is endorsing a controversial plan as a way to straighten out the federal budget.</p><p>Lawmakers from both parties are clashing over how to raise the nation's debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline. That's when the U.S. Department of the Treasury estimates the federal government will go into default if Congress doesn't raise its borrowing limit.</p><p>The Republican Kirk told reporters Tuesday that he supports a proposal from the president's <a href="http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf">National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform</a>, which outlined more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction measures in December. The plan would raise the retirement age for Social Security, hike gas taxes and impose spending caps. It met criticism from both sides of the aisle and never made it to Congress for a vote.</p><p>But Kirk said he could accept a scaled-down version.</p><p>"The Senate and the House could go forward on something smaller, as we align the country to the reality that we are spending money that we do not have and need to stop," Kirk said.</p><p>Congressional leaders are in the midst of negotiations with the President Barack Obama about raising the nation's debt ceiling. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Democrats have asked President Barack Obama to meet with them to discuss the situation, after the president rejected a GOP invitation.&nbsp;And Obama's economic team has been invited to Capitol Hill Thursday to look at ways of putting together a package of spending cuts and tax hikes that might resolve the matter.</p><p>But Republicans have said that any tax hikes are a non-starter for a resolution.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/debt-ceiling-talks-drag-illinois-sen-kirk-endorses-austere-deficit-plan-88743 The Budget Deal: One Of Many Late Nights To Come? http://www.wbez.org/story/federal-budget/2011-04-09/budget-deal-one-many-late-nights-come-84979 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-09/nightshot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Now that we know there will NOT be a partial shutdown of the federal government because <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/04/09/135228492/deal-reached-to-avert-government-shutdown" target="_blank">late last night lawmakers reached a deal</a> on a plan to cut about $38 billion from this year's budget, it's time for some morning-after analyses.</p><p>-- Over <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/04/09/135234353/deal-averting-shutdown-proves-compromise-is-alive-if-not-well" target="_blank">at It's All Politics</a>, our colleague Frank James says this shows that "compromise is alive, if not well."</p><p>-- <a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/weekend-edition-saturday/" target="_blank">On <em>Weekend Edition</em></a>, NPR's Scott Horsley said that since the agreement was literally reached at the 11th hour, it "suggests that we may have a lot of late nights to come in this new era of divided government." NPR's Liz Halloran, by the way, has <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/04/09/135251034/the-shutdown-matchup-a-preview-of-bouts-to-come" target="_blank">previewed "the bouts to come."</a> The include the 2012 budget and whether to raise the federal debt limit.</p><p>-- <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52854.html">Politico calls the talks</a> that finally produced a deal "less a high-stakes game of chicken — like most budget wrangling — than an effort to jerry-rig a deal that would be acceptable to House conservatives, Senate Democrats and a president intent on proving he could pull off a bipartisan deal for the second time in five months."</p><p>-- At The Corner, the politics blog of the conservative<em> National Review</em>, it's said that <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/264308/boehner-wins-big-andrew-stiles" target="_blank">House Speaker John Boehner "wins big"</a> in all this because a process that started with President Obama wanting $40 billion more in spending ended with that $38.5 billion reduction.</p><p>-- From the other side of the political spectrum, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/2011-is-not-1995/2011/04/06/AFxPaT5C_blog.html" target="_blank">Ezra Klein at <em>The Washington Post</em> also sees</a> Boehner and the Republicans as having succeeded — and he isn't pleased. "The Democrats believe it's good to look like a winner, even if you've lost. But they're sacrificing more than they let on. By celebrating spending cuts, they've opened the door to further austerity measures at a moment when the recovery remains fragile."</p><p>-- Meanwhile, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576251390267843346.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories" target="_blank">according to <em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a> "leaders of the small-government, tea-party movement are generally giving House Speaker John Boehner high marks for his leadership in the spending showdown, even though the agreement eventually reached Friday night fell short of the cuts the tea party once demanded."</p><p>-- And then there are the views that may make you agree with those who say this is no way to run a government. The deal is something that "nobody loves but that all were willing to live with," <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0409/Government-shutdown-2011-avoided-with-11th-hour-budget-deal" target="_blank">writes <em>The Christian Science Monitor</em>'s Brad Knickerbocker</a>. But, "it doesn't solve the nation's debt and deficit problems, and it certainly doesn't settle the non-spending policy issues that had bedeviled the process of getting to yes — abortion is only the most obvious." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Sat, 09 Apr 2011 07:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/federal-budget/2011-04-09/budget-deal-one-many-late-nights-come-84979